Environmental auditing of the hardy nursery stock sector
Although quite fragmented, comprising of a few large growers and many smaller enterprises, the hardy nursery stock industry supplies garden centre retailers with an astonishing range of plants and is worth around £217million. Often margins are tight and keeping up to date with current technological developments in best practice, science and technology, and legislative requirements etc. can be very difficult. Born out of the need to the raise awareness of growers of the environmental issues and management techniques available, the concept behind the project was to develop an environmental audit and a simple mechanism of support and advice, for the hardy nursery stock sector. A simple check-list type system that is compatible with EMA, LEAF and the forthcoming EUREP GAP protocols used by the retail sector has been developed using the outline of Integrated Crop Management modified to be of particular interest to the hardy nursery stock industry.